We all have read and reread the stories about the Baptist over the years, his mother and the mother of Jesus being cousins, their visitation. The work he did to call people to repentance and how that led to his martyrdom. The important point we don’t hear about is how he willingly lived in the shadow of his famous cousin!
How did Faith bring him to that point? How and why was he willing to put his ministry and call to repentance in second place when the cousin showed up? Even while in prison he questioned who Jesus was and what works he was doing. How would the phrase “my cousin, the Messiah” fit into your family dynamic?
To me all of these questions are raised by the stories we are told about John, but the one thing that comes through as a lesson for me is: my life as a Christian, the ministry I am called to, and the Baptismal expression I choose to live out all have little meaning in the Presence of Jesus.
We tend to think of our lives in the light of our own perception, but the lesson we must learn from John the Baptist is “IT IS NOT ABOUT ME AND MY LIFE—IT IS ABOUT JESUS.” As a Christian, it is my life pointing to Jesus, nothing more, nothing less! That is why so many people find the message of the Baptist so hard to live out: Jesus (and the Gospel Life) must become everything as we become more of a reflection of the Living Savior!
Hard stuff to swallow, hard to take on board, but there we are dedicated to the Message of Jesus. Some thoughts to run with this week.
See you next time,
I am your
bro. John, O.C.P.